Arlo Essential Wire-free Video Doorbell review

The Arlo Essential Wire-free Video Doorbell will let you know who’s knocking before you answer (or even when you’re not at home) without running any cables.

Arlo Essential Wire-free Video Doorbell
(Image: © Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Arlo Essential Wire-free Video Doorbell is a great way to add some security to your home without adding more wires; the HDR camera’s useful 1:1 shape camera isn’t cropped 16:9 but affords a real view of visitors, right to their feet, and (with the subscription motion detection) means any packages left at your door will be well looked after. Good interoperability will hopefully one day embrace HomeKit too.


  • +

    Square picture lets you see packages

  • +

    Doorbell call relatively fast

  • +

    Night Vision

  • +

    No hub required

  • +

    High-res HDR video

  • +

    Alexa, Assistant & IFTTT compatibility


  • -

    Battery doesn’t seem to last 3 months

  • -

    Subscription needed to enable most features

  • -

    Does not work with Apple HomeKit

  • -


  • -

    Doesn’t offer pre-roll video

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Though they weren’t the first into the smart doorbell camera market, this is already Arlo’s third; their first was a traditional button device which made it relatively low on features for a lot of the smart home community, while their second brought with it a square-framed camera offering perhaps the greatest viewing angle in the market. By adding battery-only operation as an option, the Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wire-free makes it possible to install the doorbell without running cables, then just topping up the rechargeable battery every 3-6 months (according to Arlo). If they’re available to you (or you choose to fit them) you can also fit standard 8-24V power and the bell will keep itself charged from the mains and ring your pre-existing chimes.

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Adam Juniper
Managing Editor

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 

Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 

He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook